The incidents of extortion and robbery in Manila and Makati are alarming the Bureau of Immigration (BI) as it says the suspects are victimizing foreigners. These incidents occur despite the presence of several tourist police.
BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison said everyday at least one foreigners is being robbed over the past several months in Ermita Manila despite of the presence of the tourist police.
Quoting Manila Mayor Erap Estrada, Mison said that the extortion activity involves police personnel in Makati and in Manila.
In a press conference on Friday, Manila Mayor Erap Estrada revealed that the Saudi Arabian Embassy had complained about the alleged extortion activities when Saudi Arabian Ambassador Abdullah Al Hassan recently called on him.
“These extortion activities victimize tourists in trouble or in dire circumstances,” Estrada said explaining the modus operandi of the suspects.
Estrada added that the policemen in Malate had arrested Mustafa Abdullah Al-Shanquite and Fuad Abdullah Almohsin for “spurious criminal accusations” and asked them an amount in exchange for their release.
Meanwhile, Mison urged the police officers both in Makati and Manila to show respect to the foreigners visiting the country in the same way that they expect respect when they go abroad.
“Law enforcers must respect foreigners since they also go abroad as tourist when attending trainings and seminars abroad so they might experience the same consequence or incident,” Mison said.
Mison said that the policemen in Ermita must conduct regular patrol especially at night to ensure the safety of and protection of both tourists and residents in their jurisdiction.
Recently, an official of the Manila Police District (MPD), who refused to be identified, said that the Station 5 police officers “could be coddling robbers and snatchers.”
Mison has reminded foreign nationals who are victims of extortion and robbery to report to their embassies at once and to file their formal complaints.
BI record show that South Koreans are the number 1 visitors entering the country since 2013 followed by the Americans and Japanese.